Jeremy Lin has awed the country. Lin had his first start with the New York Knicks on Feb. 6. Few people knew of him at the time.
After several of wins, Lin has become a household name in America. Basketball and non-basketball fans know who he is. Christians and non-Christians alike know of Jeremy Lin. However, he is only the latest in a long line of Christian celebrities.
Here are five prominent Christian celebrities:
In some ways, Kurt Warner is the father of modern Christian celebrities and athletes. He certainly was not the first professional athlete to proclaim his faith, and there were Christian celebrities before him. Yet, Warner changed the way Christian celebrities and athletes proclaim their faith.
Warner made being a prominent Christian acceptable. His comments after Super Bowl XXXIV–“First things first. I have to give praise and glory to my Lord and Savior up above. Thank You, Jesus.”–were unashamedly Christian. In those footsteps, Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin follow as recent Christian celebrities.
For the past few years, Tim Tebow has been a prominent Christian celebrity. He participated in two Super Bowl ads with Focus on the Family, a Christian organization. This past season in the NFL, Tebow’s iconic prayers have become a fad. He can regularly be seen on the field on one knee, and people all over can be seen impersonating him.
Just as the NFL season ended, a new Christian athlete has emerged. The torch carried by Christian celebrities has been passed on to Jeremy Lin. Lin is grounded in his Christian faith, and has succeeded recently on the basketball court. His success has vaulted him into the media spotlight, and it seems as if Lin is still finding his way of being a Christian athlete. To what extent will Lin follow Warner and Tebow?
A.C. Green may not be known nationally, but Lakers fans know him as a former NBA All-Star and three-time NBA champion. Green’s greatest testimony to his faith was his purity. He was proud to enter and leave the NBA as a virgin. Now, he runs the A.C. Green Youth Foundation, which promotes abstinence prior to marriage.
George Foreman, a two-time winner of the Heavyweight title, had a long and successful boxing career. When he stopped boxing, George Foreman became a minister. Many Christian celebrities start a foundation; Foreman decided to lead a congregation.
Sources for Christian Celebrities: Jeremy Lin, Kurt Warner, Tim Tebow, A.C. Green and George Foreman